Rachel's* Story

Rachel came to the Money A+E advice service in 2021 for support with Universal Credit and PIP (Personal Independence Payment). She tells her story.


'I fell over at work in 2009 and I hurt my back. I’ve got arthritis in my shoulder, my hip and my knee; and osteoporosis in my neck, back and hip. So all the right side of my body is painful. I can hardly walk even with a walking stick.


I worked in a busy clinic. I was at the hospital 13 years, I was at that job 8 years, and I know my job inside out. I know all the consultants, and the patients’ names and who walks through the door, because they’ve been coming for years. They’re like family.


Stock image

I was struggling at work before. I was still going to work, but every time I was looking down at the computer to type, I was getting migraines, and dizziness as well. And when I came home I couldn’t even get up off the sofa to cook anything. Then came one day, and I thought, ‘No, I can’t take any more.’ I went off [sick] and I’ve been bad ever since really.


I’m on half pay now. It was my housing association that referred me to Money A+E, because I was worried about how I’d be paying the rent.


I’ve never really used [an advice service] before. But it’s really helpful, because it helps you to understand things and it points you in the right direction of what to do.

Anna [Money Coach] advised me on how to claim Universal Credit. I’ll always call her. She’s fantastic, she knows it inside out. I’ve told everybody about her.


I’ve never really used [an advice service] before. But it’s really helpful, because it helps you to understand things and it points you in the right direction of what to do.


Because I can’t walk anywhere and I can’t leave the house, I need to try and get a mobility scooter. I’ve had a trial on one and it’s fantastic. As the man [there] said, it is freedom. I could even go to the shop – the shop is literally two minutes from my house. I did try to walk it once, but I struggled to get back.


I’ve been mentally not good, depressed really, because I’m stuck in the house... Anna says that I need to get the higher award of PIP [Personal Independence Payment] because it will cover a mobility scooter.

I’ve been mentally not good, depressed really, because I’m stuck in the house. And at home I struggle to get up the stairs, so I’m sleeping on the sofa. My doctor and Anna helped me to make an application to the housing association, for them to put in a stairlift and a wetroom downstairs. That would really help.


Anna says that I need to get the higher award of PIP [Personal Independence Payment] because it will cover a mobility scooter. My application was unsuccessful, and that was upsetting, but Anna is helping me to appeal it.


If I could buy Anna a box of chocolates I would, and send it to her. [Your service] is really helpful, especially when you’re feeling down. When you put that phone down, you feel a lot better in yourself, you really do.'


 

Name: Rachel* (name has been changed)

Location: Haringey, London

Age: Mid-50s

Lives with: Two adult sons

Occupation: Former hospital administrator


Money advice included:

Support with Universal Credit application; as a result Rachel has sufficient income to cover her rent and living expenses.


Advice for Rachel’s son (who also has long-term health challenges) to also make a successful Universal Credit application.


Support with an application to Rachel's housing association to have accessibility features installed within her home.


PIP (Personal Independence Payment) Daily Living component (£60/week) awarded - this is not the full award of PIP. Rachel is being supported to appeal the decision and to access the full award, which will cover a mobility scooter and a specially adapted car.


Stock image by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


Service funded by the British Gas Energy Trust



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